IMAGINE a bike full of heart and soul, an underdog perhaps, that has the ability to surprise at every corner. Imagine a bike that can make an experienced rider grin and yet, still accommodate a learner rider. Imagine the 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
It’s a simple, joyful motorbike that is so much more than it appears at first glance. A bike that forms the backbone of the Royal Enfield range, it features a character filled parallel 650 twin, and styling cues that draw on classic motorcycle design.
When we picked up our Orange Crush Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 from Sydney’s northern beaches, we weren’t quite prepared for how much fun it was going to be, nor did we expect the burble produced from the motor, especially on the downshift. That was our first hint that this bike’s charm was going to be so much more than we had imagined. Through the city, it’s a breeze to ride, with a punchy power plant and well balanced handling.
The nimble size of the Interceptor makes it easy to lane filter through traffic too, and all-in-all it made a great first impression. There were smiles of appreciation when we stopped for fuel and it cost us $10 to fill the tank too.
Perhaps the Interceptor’s most endearing quality though, is how it tackles the twisty stuff. Imagine a bike that brakes well, and is predictable, with no noticeable chassis wobble when you brake hard. That’s what the Royal Enfield delivers. We’d describe it as confidence inspiring. It’s fun to ride, and with a kerb weight of just 202kg and ground clearance of 174mm, the Interceptor 650 had us looking for more corners to try and test the bike a little further. Up front, there’s 41mm forks with 110mm of travel, while the rear sports twin coil over shocks that produce 88mm of travel. Braking is taken care of by a 320mm disc setup on the front and 240mm at the rear, with ABS all round. As a package, this setup works brilliantly and rewards the rider with a braking and handling package that is a shed load of fun. A 4-stroke, single overhead cam, air cooled, parallel twin with 648cc sits at the heart of the Royal Enfield. It provides 47bhp and 52Nm of torque, delivering good engine performance. It’s no super bike, but when combined with its excellent handling credentials, there’s no need for a larger motor.
Should you want to personalise your Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, there’s plenty of aftermarket accessories to beef up the power output as well, with an air cleaner and exhaust pipes among the popular choices to give it some extra get up and go. The riding position is comfortable and upright, with easy reach to the handlebars. It’s also easy to get down over the bars when you hit the corners, and even on long rides we felt no discomfort. The 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is available in a wide range of colours, including Mark Three, Silver Spectre, Baker Express, Ravishing Red and our favourite, Glitter and Dust (along with Orange Crush of course).
It comes with a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and roadside assist. Not only that, like all other models in the Royal Enfield range, it’s LAMS approved. We reckon it’s one of the best retro bikes on the market too.
Our test bike was provided by Royal Enfield Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, contact your local Royal Enfield dealer.